Monday, December 30, 2013

Ready, Ready, Ready, Ready...Ready to Run

I love to run.

This is me after a 4 mile run yesterday.
Oh yeah, it was pouring rain.
I was splashed by 2 cars and honked at 4 times (not because I'm hot, but probably because they thought I was crazy).
I started running in high school, but never took it seriously then.
It wasn't until after I joined the Marine Corps that I seriously fell in love with running.
I went through a lot of personal hardships my first few years in the Marine Corps, and running was my outlet.
I went through some pretty low points in my life, and running was my saving grace.
When I was hitting that pavement, nothing else in life mattered.
The natural high I got from running was also something that got me addicted to it.
My very first deployment was to Iwakuni, Japan. 
I was at a rocky place in life, in a terrible relationship, and I wasn't right with God.
Going to a foreign country with nothing familiar to me with new people was scary.
So I ran.
I ran every. single. day.
I ran twice a day.
I ran to work.
I ran back to my barracks from work.
I ran when it was 106 degrees with 98% humidity.
I ran 6-10 miles a day on average.
When I missed a day of running, I got depressed, and ended up getting my aggression out on some random cardio machine at the gym. 
This cycle continued on into my deployment to Iraq.
I found myself using every little bit of free time I had to run in the desert.
If you've ever been to the middle east in the middle of summer, you know it gets 140 degrees hot.
It did a number on my knees.
It wasn't until my last deployment to Iraq and after recruiting duty (5 years later) that I finally decided to get my knee checked out because the pain was now starting to become unbearable.
I was in a lot worse shape than I had imagined, and my knee injuries had started to affect my hips as well.

So here I am, 3 years since I finally got my knee looked at.
I ended up having surgery.
I was medically (and honorably) discharged just FOUR short months shy of my actual EAS (End of Active Service) after 10 long years in the Corps.
I guess I'm classified as a disabled vet, but I don't consider myself that.
There are TONS of veterans out there who are REALLY disabled.

And while my days of running 6-10 miles a day are long gone, I have figured out how to hit the pavement knowing the limits of my body.
I'm not running 6:30 minute miles anymore, and I'm not obsessed with it like I used to be.
I've found other things to stay in shape (like Crossfit and Spin).

What's the point of this post?
Those days when I was running endlessly was because I was running away from my problems.
I was running away from my faith.
I was running away from God.
It became an addiction and a unhealthy one that ultimately injured me.

It wasn't until I reconnected with God again that I realized that I was using running as a crutch and not as a form of enjoyment.

Today, I can happily say that I run because I really enjoy it.
I love looking at nature while I run, and it puts me in awe that God created all of it.
What are you using as a crutch?


  1. I'm so jealous of you. I want to run, but no matter what I can't get into it. I zumba A LOT and I spin a few times a week, but I just can't seem to get into running.

  2. You go girl. I miss running but it's just so hard to stay motivated.

  3. I love it. I have actually heard this is quite common... using running as an escape. I think it's great you have turned it around. I admire that! I would have honked at you too. As a little cheer for being so committed!


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